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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Crash victim's identity released

WILLMAR -- The name of the driver who died in a crash early Saturday morning north of Willmar has been released.

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The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office identified him as Ronald Lawrence Rieck, 40, of Litchfield.

Rieck's car was spotted around 2 a.m. Saturday in King Lake. The vehicle was submerged upside down in the water. After attempting a rescue, authorities determined that Rieck died from injuries sustained in the crash.

The accident is under investigation by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office.

Theft

WILLMAR -- The theft of a television, money and household items was reported around 2:20 p.m. Monday along the 900 block of 20th Avenue Southeast.

PRINSBURG -- A gas drive-off theft was reported around 3:40 p.m. Monday at Warren's Amoco, 101 Third St. The unpaid bill was $20.10.

Fraud

SPICER -- Fraudulent use of checks was reported around 8 a.m. Tuesday along the 2300 block of 88th Avenue Northeast.

Arrests

SPICER -- A 30-year-old Brooten man was arrested on charges of driving while impaired around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of County Road 10 and Highway 71.

Fire calls

COSMOS -- The Cosmos, Lake Lillian and Blomkest fire departments were dispatched to a tractor on fire around 12:25 p.m. Monday at the intersection of 135th Street and 525th Avenue, about a mile west of Cosmos. The John Deere tractor was a total loss and was valued at $225,000.

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Fire Department was paged around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday to 515 Lakeland Dr. S.E. The cause of the fire alarm was burned food and the department remained on the scene for about 30 minutes ventilating the building.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Rigoberto Clarke, 29, of Willmar, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday on a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault.

Under a plea agreement, felony charges of being a fugitive from justice in another state and for domestic assault and a misdemeanor charge of damage to property were dismissed.

He was sentenced to 60 days in the county jail, with credit for 37 days served and was ordered to pay a $50 fine.

The charges were filed after Kandiyohi County Sheriff's deputies were called around 1 p.m. Oct. 25 to a home in St. Johns Township on a domestic disturbance. A woman there said she had argued with Clarke and thrown a pop can at him before he choked her by holding his hands around her neck. He had also thrown her cell phone against the wall, breaking it.

Clarke is also wanted in Texas on a controlled substance charge.

- Cody Lee Friese, 19, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to five years of probation, 182 days in jail and 80 hours of community service work on a felony charge of third-degree burglary for burglarizing and vandalizing a home in February.

He was given credit for 99 days already served in jail and was ordered to pay $723 in restitution, write letters of apology to the resident and owner of the home and stay away from the victim's residence and workplace.

As part of a plea agreement, the charge was reduced from second-degree and three additional felony charges for theft, property damage and receiving stolen property were dismissed. He received a stay of imposition on his sentence, whereby the conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor if he follows the court's conditions.

The charges were filed after Willmar Police officers were called Feb. 6 to a home along Second Street Southeast. A person who had been watching the home for the resident, who was away, had noticed lights on and broken items in the home and had suspected Friese.

Missing from the home were items including a television, laptop computer and jewelry. Substances, determined to be tomato sauce, chocolate sauce and fingernail polish, had been thrown on the walls. The officer also discovered a burned matchbook on a bed, which appeared to have burned a hole in the comforter. In the kitchen, frozen meals, still cold, were found on the countertop.

Around 11:30 p.m. that day, police and ambulance personnel were called to the Viking Motel to respond to a suicidal person. The ambulance personnel had discovered Friese staggering, leaving a trail of blood from cuts to his arms and torso. He was taken to Rice Memorial Hospital. An officer attempted to interview Friese at the hospital, he declined.

Officers found a number of items in the room, including a television, computer parts, gaming systems and jewelry. Another man there said that Friese had brought them into the room.

The investigation, along with information from the resident of the home, guided officers to a local business where Friese had pawned three rings stolen from the home for $200. Local police also discovered that he had pawned or sold several items in St. Cloud.

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